WILD OATS Community Farmers' Market was inspired by the authentic "old style" country marketplace of yesteryear where local farmers gathered to sell their goods to the townsfolk. In an atmosphere of friendly open exchange, the market also provided an important social occasion for locals and visitors. For the first time in South Africa's Garden Route and in the spirit of the "good old times" the Wild Oats Market organisers have set about recreating, in a unique country setting, a market where town meets country... where tourists meet locals... and where buyers meet producers and develop an appreciation and understanding of the local products they purchase. The local economy is stimulated and local money recycled. Local Knysna and George Farmers' Associations have given strong support to what was, in 1999, a new marketing endeavour in the Western Cape region.
WILD OATS is a weekly Saturday morning market for local farm and homemade food products only. No craft is included because so many well-established craft markets exist along the Garden Route (and just outside our doorstep!). Market organisers favour the inclusion of local producers who sell direct to the public themselves, as this ensures reasonable prices for buyers. We promote the freshest and best the Garden Route producers have to offer at prices below average retail to attract customers from afar. We aim to introduce a wide variety of products while maintaining moderate internal competition. This satisfies the customers' need for diversity of choice and fair pricing. We encourage dirct communication between stallholders and organisers as to seasonal availability of produce: this limits an oversupply of any one item so that unsold goods and wastage are kept to a minimum. Preference is given to producers who sell exclusively on Wild Oats, as this ensures our unique appeal to the public.
WILD OATS Market organisers offer producers a unique and well advertised "shop window" of retailing direct. Thorough promotion and advertising both locally, nationally and internationally ensures plentiful and regular customers. The stall structures provide a permanent point of advertising and offer an easy set-up procedure for the busy producer. Also provided is ample seating for customers to encourage a leisurely sociable outing.